Growing Natives Garden Tour 2020

Mountain Retreat (45 photos)

Garden #59, Los Gatos


Showcase Features: Sweeping views to Monterey Bay set the stage for this naturally landscaped 1-acre property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Black oaks, coast live oaks, madrones, coast redwoods, Douglas firs, bigleaf maples, redbuds, toyons, holly leaf cherry trees, and many other California native plants abound. On a previously weed-covered slope, a recirculating waterfall provides habitat for birds and butterflies and the occasional frog.

Other Garden Attractions: In the south-facing terraced slopes, winding paths reveal yarrow, chamise, manzanita, coyote brush, creeping barberry, ceanothus, California fuchsia, Santa Barbara daisy, fescue, matilija poppy, and various salvias. Tall deer fencing surrounds a major portion of the garden and wire gopher baskets were used extensively to keep deer and gophers from destroying native and non-native plants, since deer and gophers are the main challenge of gardening and landscaping in the mountains. The deer are not interested in the unfenced front portion of the property, where various salvias, sugarbush, irises, and mule ears grow. In the spring, large bush anemomes and a flannelbush are covered in white and yellow blossoms, attracting bumblebees and other pollinators. This property is at a higher elevation (2700 feet above sea level) than most other GNGT gardens, and it sometimes snows in winter. Native plants in all four seasons are influenced by the amount and duration of rainfall received during winter months. Manzanitas typically bloom in February or March instead of January at lower elevations. Yellow and purple lupines and vibrant orange California poppies bloom profusely in April or May.

Gardening for Wildlife: Various bird species, butterflies, bees, and lizards are present.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 20

Garden Size: 1 acre

Designer: Barbara Jackel Landscape Design & Homeowner
Installer: Christiansen Associates Garden & Design

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